Sexist Dress Code at Arkansas High School Warns Girls Not to Distract Boys

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

As the fall semester began, a high school in Siloam Springs, Ark., gave a dress code presentation to students. Teachers at Siloam Springs High School advised young women to dress modestly, explaining that low-cut shirts or panty lines would elicit a reaction from boys. Some parents were upset with the dress code saying it sets a double standard by “putting the burden only on girls,” KSHB reported.

“They talked about panty lines and bra straps and how some men would stumble on that and it would be a distraction," said parent Jennifer Wilmoth to KSHB.

"Every year we meet with our classes to go over expectations, the values of the Siloam Springs School District," said principal Jason Jones. He said it was not the school's intention to single out female students and that boys are the school at responsible for their own actions.

"I could see where that could be their perception or maybe what they got out of it, but as far as that statement goes, the intent of the meeting was pure and wholesome," Jones said, explaining, "When you talk about cleavage and that kind of thing, sometimes you may get reactions from the boys and we didn't want to have that kind of environment for the girls."

Jones said the school was not admonishing girls, but enlightening them to the fact that certain clothing will elicit unwanted attention.

"Boys, males or anybody, they're all responsible for their own thoughts and we express that but in this environment when you have 1,300 kids up here, students, there are some things that you can wear that trigger certain thoughts or reactions by kids and that's the things we wanted them to be aware of,” he said.

Wilmoth was dismayed to learn that is a reality at her daughter’s school.

"That's kinda what scares me," Wilmoth said. "It tells me women are objectified. If men can't handle being in school and looking at another person, another female, that is not the female students problem, that is the problem of the male student and since they didn't go over anything like that – why is there a double standard for that?"

She brought her concerns to school officials on Friday. She told NWA that the school was receptive and welcomed her input.

"We've looked at what we do, analyzed what we do and there may be some things we put back and some things that we add to it, but we're going to do what's best for our kids," Jones said.

Sources: KSHB, KY3, NWA